Mr. Charming and and I have been daydreaming, pre-planning and talking a lot about where we want to take next years vacation. Since we don't have any littles of our own yet, we try to take a big vacation every year. I love that about us. I love that God both a wandering spirit in both of us. I adore seeing new places in the world. God-made and man-made beauty inspire me. I have been fortunate in my life as a musician and a writer that it's allowed me to travel. Having toured all over the Caribbean, US and South America, I'm blessed to have found my person with whom I can travel to exciting places with.
It just makes it that much more exciting and wonderous.
Speaking of exciting, Mr. Charming and I took this weekend to try out a lot of new recipes. I've been following a lot of blogs on the #Whole30 challenge, and the Whole 30 way of eating, and I love that so many of the recipes fit with foods I eat! The photo above is of some AMAZING pulled pork sliders we made last night, and the photo underneath of it is just a stock photo of Paris that I like to daydream on. Those buildings! The leafy trees! The romantically perfect Eiffel Tower.
Back when I started dating Mr. Charming, I was in between tours. I had just come off of a 6 month South America/Caribbean tour with my band, and I was home for two weeks. The two magical weeks where we met again (I will share our story soon), and I knew this was the man I could very well spend the rest of my life with. But alas, I was scheduled to depart for another 6 months on a 35 country European tour. A tour where I was supposed to spend my 24th birthday, in Paris, at the Eiffel Tower, wrapping the day performing in concert.
And while that sounds like an amazing, perfect way to ring in another birthday, and I'm sure it could have been lovely, God had other plans. Much better plans. There were many reasons I left my contract early, that I don't need to share at this time, but I did, I came home 5 months early, having only been gone a month, surprised Mr. Charming with my return and we've been together ever since.
I spent my 24th bday waking up to breakfast in bed at home, the kitchen filled with fresh pancakes, Disney Princess balloons and front row tickets to see Boyz II Men. And I can tell you from the bottom of my heart, it was better than any moment I could have spent alone in Paris.
Because that is what life is about. Not just about moments. But the love in your life, and the special people God places on your path to spend these moments with. If I do get to see the most romantic city on Earth, I would hope I'd be blessed to see it with the man who stole my heart.
Another thing Mr. Charming has helped me with is finding new things in myself. Daily time with God has also helped me to break out of the shell of who I "thought" I was, or things I feel I was "conditioned" to like or fear growing up. In trying new things we've gotten into archery.
Now typically my first thoughts were...
1.) I'm girly, and that is a man's hobby
2.) I didn't care for The Hunger Games or Brave
3.) I'm going to hurt myself
All negative thoughts. And I've been working on my thoughts and thought patterns, so I tried an exercise and came up with this new list.
1.) I did archery in Junior High and it was one of my favorite parts of P.E.
2.) Girls can do whatever guys can do. Girls rule.
3.) I still might hurt myself, so I'll ask for professional help in finding a bow. haha. (I ended up with a children's bow cuz I have tiny arms, and like, no upper body strength)
And you know what?
It was SO MUCH FUN. So much fun in fact, that yes, I am buying one. A small one, as we don't know HOW much we will shoot, since we don't believe in hunting. But it is something else that Mr. Charming and I can do together when we can't think of a good date night and it'll get us out doing something active and save us from a night in front of the computer or tv. And I know I say it all the time, but it's coming at ya again...
Speaking of winning, these pulled pork sliders on sweet potato buns are amazing. Seriously. I ate three. That was in addition to taste testing as I went, so I can honestly say last night I was "stuffed", which isn't a feeling I'm used to so much with the high vegetable diet. But these babys were amazing. I can't take full credit for the recipe, as like I mentioned above, I saw the idea on the Whole 30 blog I follow. I did however use Nature's Hollow BBQ sauce, which I review here, and spruced it up using my homemade bone broth and disease-fighting garlic. A lot of the spices in traditional Paleo BBQ sauce recipes are too harsh on my system so I used Nature's Hollow. They were delicious and the perfect stormy summer night dinner. Click here or on the photo for the recipe.
Welcome! My name is Mandi & I hope you stay in this happy little space a while. I'm a Christian, a wife to my Mr. Charming, mama to baby Greyson, healthy food-lover, traveler, professional journalist and Personal Nutritionist who hopes to inspire others with my story...
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